Saturday, October 08, 2005

better.

last night i slept for nine hours. i feel better. sleep deprivation was a primary culprit in my case of crankiness.

i'm realizing that i was subconsciously, or perhaps consciously, assuming that my darlings from last year would suddenly know how to write coherent paragraphs and study for exams once they became juniors. i know. i laugh at myself as well.

it's pretty sad though. i'm going to provide scaffolding (did you like that ed term?) to help them become better writers during the first semester, and, supposedly, they will write paragraphs (which will become short essays) in the second semester. this is a task other regular history teachers have not bitten into because it does seem daunting. in fact, someone laughed at me when i talked about this crazy plan of mine.

my kids are obsessed with the southsiiide! in fact, during our discussion of southern succession one of my darlings said, "hey, the north won? are you serious man?" despite wanting to bang my head against the wall i said, "very serious." he said, "whaat? why did the north have to win? i'm southside all the way!" this child is black. i said, "honey, it really benefits everyone that the south didn't win. because we don't have slavery anymore." my entire class was looking at him like, "um...we covered this fourteen million years ago, where were you?" but then my darling shook his head vigorously and pumped his fist, saying "southsiide! i would rather be enslaved in the south than be part of the northsiiide." that got some kids going. my mouth fell open. but honestly, i don't think he was serious. they get pretty territorial and lose all rationale. it's like when the hurricane kids came to our city and some kids were talking smack, "they better not come up here representin!" can you believe that? i chewed some student ass for that one. ah, kids these days.

a cold front came in. it's like 50 degrees. burrr.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

pissy.

i've been hearing about redesigning high schools and "small school initiatives" for about a year now. apparently this has been going down in new york and it's a "phenomenal" success. success is relative, i say. the redesign plans i've heard about in my district are irritating. the WORST idea i've heard is to loop teachers with our kids. while i completely agree and, thanks to looping this year, can attest to how great it is to work with your kids two years in a row, the drawbacks are serious. for one, it sucks to start over every year. it takes a few years to really get good at teaching a course. in addition, i don't want a new prep every year. nor do i want to teach other subjects, namely geography, government, or economics. bleh. i really X 230498234 don't want to loop.

the craziest shit i've heard is supposedly happening in suburban californian schools. this involves small schools who, apparently, don't need counselors or administrators anymore. or drop-out interventionists or college support staff. i think the key here is that these are suburban schools and suburban our school is not. i know i've only been teaching for three years and i have a few more rounds to go, but i don't think i'm alone in questioning the absence of counselors and APs. i think i'll throw in the towel when that day comes. i'm already a teacher and psuedo therapist and social worker and i can not imagine holding five positions legitimately. no thank you. when my kids cuss me out i want them to go somewhere else. like out of my classroom and out of my hands. and we NEED our drop-out interventionists. on the real.

honestly i'm just sick of non-educators messing with me, my classroom, and my students. and i'd like to include some top dawgs in my district in that non-educator category because they've never actually taught. yeah, did you know that education is a thriving business?

i won't be surprised if these initiatives never happen. i'm used to listening to a lot of talk. in fact, i hope that's what this is. more hooting and hollering, like they do when we ask for a raise or for some professional respect. it seems to me that we need to redesign our expectations of student and parent accountability while we redesign our teaching styles and curriculum. aren't the three mutually exclusive?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

global warming

In case you didn't know, there is one season in Tejas. Summer. Granted, our season varies from hot to muggy hot, burning hot, sticky hot, to motherfucking HOT. I think a new variation has evolved in the last few years: Irritable hot. This is when it's October and still 95 degrees outside. Why has Fall foresaken us? Can I get a sweater in sometime before Christmas?